Today at Pirate City, Jameson Taillon threw his first bullpen session since undergoing Tommy John surgery last April. The right-hander threw 15 pitches, all fastballs, in the start of what will be about three or four weeks of him building up in bullpens for the season. Taillon said he felt good after the session.
“I didn’t want to make too much of a big deal out of it, because it was my first one,” Taillon said. “I didn’t want to get too amped up or anything. No pain. Everything felt really free and easy, so that’s definitely a plus.”
It was cold in Bradenton today, with the morning temperatures below 60, and the temperature in the mid-60s for Taillon’s bullpen. That’s not quite as cold as the snowy weather in Pittsburgh today, but cold by baseball standards. He countered the cold weather with early preparation and long sleeves.
“I got in here early and started activating extra early for it,” Taillon said. “Wore long sleeves, which helps. I don’t love cold weather, but I’ve got to get used to it eventually. Once you get sweating I don’t think you really notice it.”
Taillon will continue throwing all fastballs for about four or five more bullpens, while throwing two bullpens per week. He has been throwing his changeups in flat grounds and has been mixing in the curve ball from 60 feet away in his throwing program. He will work to incorporate those pitches into his later bullpens, eventually building up to 35-40 pitches per session.
Last week I wrote that Taillon might start his season later in the year, in order to save innings for September and October, rather than getting shut down early like the Washington Nationals did with Stephen Strasburg a few years ago. Taillon said he wasn’t sure of his schedule for Spring Training, but doubts he will get in any games at McKechnie. Instead, look for him to play in B-games or sim games at Pirate City, which are easier to control. Most of his action in Spring Training will probably be live batting practice and sim games, in order to control his workload.
Below is a video of Taillon’s bullpen session from this morning.